Bulldogs Knockout Broncos in Early Season Battle
Jan. 5, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - It had all the energy and enthusiasm of a WAC tournament contest. And although it was only an early season matchup of conference foes, the Bulldogs and Broncos battled like it was a title fight. Fresno State used clutch free throw shooting in the final minutes and overcame a second half charge from Boise State to beat the Broncos 73-63, Saturday afternoon at the Save Mart Center.
The Bulldogs shot 17-of-20 from the charity stripe, including 7-of-8 in the final two minutes of the game.
Fresno State improved to 7-8 on the season while dropping Boise State to 8-5. The Bulldogs extended their winning streak to five games and snapped a two-game losing streak to the Broncos.
Fresno State led by 19 at the half, but Boise State roared back with a furious charge to start the second half. Boise State's first lead of the game came after a 24-4 run to pull ahead 44-43 with 13:06 left. The Broncos led by as many as five, using layups in transition and a hot shooting hand from Jessica Thompson to take control.
But Fresno State regained its composure to go on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes. Freshman guard Emma Andrews found senior guard Tierre Wilson on a backdoor layup to pull Fresno State within one. And after the Bulldogs regained the lead for good, Bailey Amundsen capped the rally with a long three to put Fresno State up by six.
Boise State was only able to get within four points during the final five six minutes and Fresno State closed out the game by taking care of the basketball and hitting its free throws.
Fresno State took a 39-20 advantage to the locker room after a 17-4 run to end the first half.
The Bulldogs were only 8-25 from beyond the 3-point line, but got to the basket much easier then they did against Louisiana Tech on Thursday night. During the middle of the first half, junior guard LaToya Brown hit Wilson on a backdoor pass and Wilson then threw a behind-the-back pass to freshman forward Hayley Munro for an easy layup. Munro followed by hitting a three from the top of the arc and senior center Erica Henry then made a steal and dished to Wilson for a driving layup that gave the Dogs a 34-18 lead with 2:51 left in the first period.
Freshman guard Jaleesa Ross heated up in the later part of the first half, hitting three shots from downtown. Brown hit her only shot of the game in the first half, a three from the right elbow.
Munro and Wilson each led the Bulldogs with 14 points a piece. Ross added 13 and Henry chipped in with eight. Four Bulldogs were perfect from the free-throw line and Munro led Fresno State with nine rebounds.
Thompson led all scorers with 26 points and Boise State's Tasha Harris had 17.
The Bulldogs now head to Idaho to take on the Vandals on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.
Quotes by Head Coach Adrian Wiggins
"We are very excited. We feel very good about our team right now. We think a lot of Boise State, they are a good basketball team. They are a very tough team to beat and they don't beat themselves. They are well coached and can shoot so I'm really proud of our team right now."
"We had a 19 point lead, so it felt good to me. What we care about is how we play and we played well and did things to win. The good news is there are areas to improve on."
"We are excited. Those two first games were tough games to play. We feel good about it. The thing is, it's a 16 game schedule. We've been through this. Tierre and Erica have been through this. They know what it feels like to do well and then in the second to last week lose to Nevada and lose a conference championship. That's not fun. But we have some experience on our side and we know what it takes and we will stay focused."
"We have to start fast, play well in the middle and finish strong. No one is going to give it to us, but I thought we earned it today, we played pretty good basketball."
"Bailey is a pure shooter. She is not afraid. We have three or four people at anytime that think they can make a shot and that's a huge advantage for us."
"We did a great job in the first half of denying Thompson on the outlets, but the second half they sent two people down the floor, and the second one wasn't rebounding, so we had to pay attention to our defensive transition and stop the long outlet pass."
"We picked up the ball pressure (in the second half). Thompson is a good player there. But we stopped their transition play and picked up the pressure."
Quotes by Tierre Wilson
"We kept our composure. We did start off slow in the second half but going into halftime we knew this was Boise State and they know how to come back and win. They came back and didn't win but still we need to fix some things and come out and play hard in the second half."
Quotes by Erica Henry
"We are growing. We understand these are the obstacles we have to face and get through this to be a WAC Champion."
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The Fresno State women's basketball team heads on the road to play Idaho on Saturday, January 12 at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs return home to the Save Mart Center on Thursday, January 17 against Hawai'i at 7 pm for Pack the House Night. All Fresno State faculty and staff, along with all military, fire and police personnel and their families are just $2 with ID at the Save Mart Center box office. Plus, all groups of 10 or more are only $2 each! Call 278-7449 to book your group today and receive Bulldog Shop Bucks for everyone in your group. Single game tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, by phone at (559)485-TIXS, or in person at the Save Mart Center box office.